William Butler Yeats

(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

The O'Rahilly - Poem by William Butler Yeats

SING of the O'Rahilly,
Do not deny his right;
Sing a 'the' before his name;
Allow that he, despite
All those learned historians,
Established it for good;
He wrote out that word himself,
He christened himself with blood.
How goes the weather?

Sing of the O'Rahilly
That had such little sense
He told Pearse and Connolly
He'd gone to great expense
Keeping all the Kerry men
Out of that crazy fight;
That he might be there himself
Had travelled half the night.
How goes the weather?

'Am I such a craven that
I should not get the word
But for what some travelling man
Had heard I had not heard?'
Then on pearse and Connolly
He fixed a bitter look:
'Because I helped to wind the clock
I come to hear it strike.'
How goes the weather?

What remains to sing about
But of the death he met
Stretched under a doorway
Somewhere off Henry Street;
They that found him found upon
The door above his head
'Here died the O'Rahilly.
R.I.P.' writ in blood.
How goes the weather.?


Comments about The O'Rahilly by William Butler Yeats

  • (8/10/2018 6:54:00 PM)


    Is Yeats being cynical and degrading of a blood sacrifice? Perhaps he knows 'craven'. Sure it seemed like a futile act to charge a machine gun post. That is why he is called The O Rathallaigh. Would the English have listened if we sent flowers and chocolates. Yeats reflects his rich upbringing, me thinks. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: weather, crazy, wind, death, night



Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001



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